Game review – Hotdog Hurdles (Tom Santoro, 2016)

I’ve just lost another hour of my life. This is becoming a huge problem. I lost two last night as well. I can’t help myself. Just. One. More. Go.

Addiction is a very serious thing, but it’s something that Hotdog Hurdles, the debut game by self-professed nerd Tom Santoro, is happy to embrace and encourage . As with many mobile apps, the beauty of the game is in its simplicity.

Initially, you play as a simply-drawn hotdog called Frank. The aim of the game is to not die as you jump over hurdles at a surprisingly well-attended athletics tournament. Every time you land a jump, you run faster and faster. You will fail, no question. It is a game of delaying the inevitable.

There is a strange hierarchy involved in the status of the fast food you can run as. Starting as Frank, you progress to Pops the Popcorn, Soda the Soft Drink, Angus the Hamburger and finally, the king of all fast foods, Don the Donut. A typical meal out then. These are earned by cashing in money earned on runs or through logging in on consecutive days.

Donuts are surprisingly good runners

Everyone watching on is a human, presumably salivating at the tasty food on offer whilst hoping that each item doesn’t burn too much fat through exercise (think about that for a few minutes…).

It is an infinite runner and some people won’t like that, but as they go this is potentially one of the best on the market. All you have to do is beat your own high score (mine stands at a terrible 21, the world record is 34) or the score of your friends through the Apple Game Centre (it is currently an Apple-exclusive).

You get nothing for your efforts, not even a thank you. You just get more failure. But yet you click the play button.

In a world where there’s quite a lot to think about and get sad or angry about, something like Hotdog Hurdles is just what we need.

Hotdog Hurdles is available to download now from the App Store.

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